I've been thinking a bit lately. Yeah, I know, thinking is a dangerous thing. Anyhow, after talking with @Valiens Nantaris a bit, I decided to post this. This is purely personal assessment.
Star Wars is commonly depicted as a tale of good vs. evil. A classic fantasy tale in space. I'd say this holds true for the Original Trilogy. I'm deliberately only taking the movies into account.The Rebels are noble freedom fighters, though we know very little about their political programme beyond wanting to restore freedom and all that. The Empire are evil space fascists who build planet-destroying superweapons. Luke has the classic hero's journey and Vader is not defeated through force of arms, but redeemed via the love for his son and turns on the evil overlord. Let's...leave out the debate about the possible Endor holocaust. :D I'd say this also applies to Episode 7. What with the First Order blowing up a star system and all that and having Nuremberg-esque rallies.
I'd argue that this is less true for the prequels because the Galactic Republic comes across as barely functional, corrupt and under the thumb of corporate interests. Jedi are aloof and cut off from the common people. Not to mention the whole drafting children thing. They also don't seem to have much of a problem with a slave army of clones conditioned to obey unconditionally. That said, the Empire and the Sith are still evil and get into power through treason and conspiracy. I would not consider the Republic 'good'. Just incompetent and corrupt instead of being an oppressive, fascist polity.
Look at Chaos...and things seem rather grim to me. More realistic? I suppose that depends on your point of view. My personal assessment is that most RL governments are 'neutral', while a few have definitely been evil and malevolent.
Ironically, the political, economic and social situation on Chaos reminds me of the Star Wars stories I used to write way back. Among other things, one of them had Knights Templar-esque Jedi Lords, who ended up in conflict with an increasingly authoritarian Republic. I stopped writing those because, among other things, they seemed un-Star Warsy to me. Well, that and they weren't particularly well-written!
In any case, Jedi do not just seem aloof, but fractured. They're split into a variety of Orders in various nations. That's not even counting the Independents. I'm writing as someone who's main char left the Republic's Jedi and ended up becoming a Dark Jedi. So I'm obviously not in the camp that says 'they abandoned the Republic!' and so on. The revolving alignment door policy is in full swing though, as alignment switches are quite common. Judgement and punishment less so.
The lines between Jedi and Sith get blurred, since there's instances of Jedi committing war crimes (e.g. Metalorn). There have been several Jedi conclaves to unify the Order, but those didn't yield results beyond loose cooperation via the Jedi Academy Network. Saying this as someone who actually welcomes diversity and doesn't see the existence of multiple Jedi orders as a bad thing.
As for the Republic, it has been in a state of almost permanent war for several IC years and was briefly taken over by a Communist dictator and a slave army of clones, before said regime crumbled. In the light of the fact that it was pushed out of the Core, suffered blow after blow in the war against the One Sith before the Roche Conflict and multiple raids from the Mandalorians, its economy must be broken at this point.
We've had several acts of planetary genocide or large-scale planetary destruction with staggering loss of life (Donanyd, Dromund Kaas, Druckenwell and Corellia come to mind). Ahto City was destroyed twice over, Kaeshana devastated by a big asteroid. It also really sucks to be a Togorian since Hauntruss and the Zambranos did a number on that planet. Then there's been a galactic droid rebellion that was strong enough to challenge every major galactic government (Clockwork), a zombie apocalypse, and let's not forget a mad goddess sending trillions of people to hell and temporarily taking the Force away from all space wizards. Honestly, it would be realistic if several apocalypse cults came into being after the Netherworld event. That's the sort of thing that would have profound repercussions.
This brings us to the galactic economy. It's dominated by megacorporations, the largest of which have enough power to field fleets and private armies. Corporate power was seen on full display during the Red Dawn crisis when the Republic's socialist policies resulted in the ATC-GR Trade War, created a Corporate Alliance and led to the Mandalorian invasion of Roche, which was spearheaded by MandalHypernautics to secure private and Mandalorian interests in the system. Omega Pyre runs Fondor and Thyferra in what can be considered a merger of corporate and state power, Firemane is a major political player on Tygara, where it acts almost like a sovereign entity. Undoubtedly there are other examples of corporations stepping in and performing roles normally assigned to the state.
Far as I can tell, most big corporations are arms manufacturers (this includes the three run companies run by my characters), and judging by all the invasions, military-based dominions and the aforementioned galactic crises, one can presume an almost permanent war economy. Given the ongoing arms spending sprees in many nations, it's fair to say that most governments pursue guns over butter policies.
While obviously producing lots of weapons creates jobs in the armaments sector, the civilian economy must still suffer under the strain. Consequences can be high taxation, inflation and so on. The cost of war has actually been taken into account in a recent plot arc, since the Galactic Alliance and its allies have a plot about rebuilding Coruscant, which requires the aid of multiple donors.
Non-Force-users, despite representing 99.9% of the Galaxy's population, tend to be marginalised in the political sphere due to Force-user dominance. A cynic would say that the 'mundanes' have little choice beyond choosing which dynasty of space wizards to side with. Likewise, the average citizen probably has the impression that Force-users tend to go scots free when they switch sides and then come back, which creates the impression of a double standard. Same applies to the viewpoint that he or she is caught in a game of thrones between space wizards, warlords and corporate titans, but possesses little agency.
Even a light side faction like the Silver Sanctum Coalition is run by a magocracy. A notable exception to this state of affairs are the Mandalorian Clans, since their non-Forcer-dominated and invest heavily in anti-Forcer technology. That said, they're also Space Vikings who thrive in warfare. On the whole, oligarchic and/or authoritarian governments dominate.
Forcer power is also seen in the economic sphere. It's less blatant there because we have several successful corporate magnates such as Danger Arceneau, Judah Dashiell, Tegaea Alcori and Alric Kuhn who don't have space magic. However, corporations such as Akure Executive Interstellar and Firemane Industries dedicate a large portion of their production towards manufacturing anti-Forcer gear. AEI has its terentatek leather dusters that are immune or resistant to several Force powers, Firemane has its series of bolters. This actually wasn't apparent to me until @Akilah Samara's excellent survey.
We also seem to have an abudance of pirates and criminal gangs throughout the Galaxy, since so many dominions are about this or that galactic nation fighting them to assume control over a planet. Maybe this is an indication that a significant strata has been pauperised and forced to pursue a life of crime. How many people have fallen through the cracks? I'm not sure which faction has social welfare programmes, free healthcare and so on. If any nation has imposed such policies, please inform me. Trade unions seem to be absent. The Republic briefly had a Communist regime, but it lacked popular support and was mainly carried by one person. Likewise, the Rebel Alliance's Communist experiment was short-lived. We have yet to see moderate Social Democrats show up though.
On the whole, the Galaxy is multipolar, whereas we have a bipolar situation in the movies. This resembles the situation in Europe during the time of the old concert of powers. It may be interesting to come up with historical analogies for various nations, but this article is already long enough! A number of invasions and several raids are motivated by a desire to control or acquire critical resources for military purposes (such as stygium, phrik etc.). It would be amusing if we some day get protesters taking to their streets and crying 'no blood for stygium' and so on.
Is any of this 'bad'? Not in my opinion, but then I like moral complexity and 'grim' scenarios. It's certainly interesting to write in. Besides, none of my characters really conform to canon. Whatever that is these days. I'd just find it in a fairly dystopian place to live in.